Madonna Has Strong Reaction to Criticism of Her Grammys Appearance

Madonna is clapping back at critics of her appearance at the 2023 Grammy Awards. The pop icon, 64, took the stage while introducing Sam Smith and Kim Petras, who won the award for best pop duo/group performance that night, making Petras the first openly transgender woman to win a Grammy Award.

While Petras was making history, much of the online attention went toward Madonna's face and appearance, prompting the "Material Girl" artist to take to Instagram to call out the "ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in." Madonna wrote that while she initially wanted to present the Album of the Year award at the end of the night, she thought it was "more important" to present Petras, who was the first trans woman to ever perform at the Grammys.

"Instead of focusing on what I said in my speech which was about giving thanks for the fearlessness of artists like Sam and Kim- Many people chose to only talk about Close-up photos of me Taken with a long lens camera By a press photographer that Would distort anyone's face!!" Madonna continued. "Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in."

The trailblazer went on to condemn "a world that refuses to celebrate women past the age of 45 and feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong willed, hard-working and adventurous." Madonna "never apologized" for her creative choices "nor the way that I look or dress" throughout her life, and the hitmaker said she won't be stopping now.

"I have been degraded by the media since the beginning of my career but I understand that this is all a test and I am happy to do the trailblazing so that all the women behind me can have an easier time in the years to come," she noted, going on to reference a Beyoncé lyric on the Grammy record-breaker's big night: "You won't break my soul." Madonna concluded, "I look forward to many more years of subversive behavior -pushing boundaries-Standing up to the patriarchy -and Most of all enjoying my life. Bow down b-es!"

While introducing Smith and Petras' performance of "Unholy" at Sunday's award ceremony, Madonna thanked the "rebels" and "troublemakers" for forging a new path, noting that their "fearlessness does not go unnoticed." She added, "Here's what I've learned after four decades in music: If they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are definitely onto something."